Tuesday, November 27, 2012

WbFusion White paper on Crisis Management and Social Media

To view the complete white paper click on the image or here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Martin Seligman: The new era of positive psychology

Martin Seligman talks about psychology, as a field of study and as it works one-on-one with each patient and each practitioner. As it moves beyond a focus on disease, what can modern psychology help us to become?

Martin Seligman is the founder of positive psychology, a field of study that examines healthy states, such as happiness, strength of character and optimism. Full bio »

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Leadership Myths and how to overcome them!

In the 1840s, the great Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle created his “Great Man Theory,” which held that leaders have special powers and a special place in society and that the rest of us have a special obligation to defer to them.

Here are nine myths that leaders tell themselves today and what they should be saying instead.

1. I am a leader because I have been a leader before.
This is a blanket myth about the primacy of experience that the only people capable of leadership are those who have done it before.

However, experience is valuable only when one learns from it, with humility and maturity, by recognizing that each company, team, colleague and situation is different.

Many, many leaders are unable to forget the rote experiences of their pasts, and act on auto-pilot.

Ask yourself: How can you learn which experiences to forget?

2. I am so busy/important/able-to-focus-on-many-things-at-once that I often multi-task.
Your main “task” as a leader is to enable others to get things done. Checking your email during an important conversation with a direct report does not do this.

Leadership demands that you be fully present, yet too many leaders are distracted during key discussions, decisions, and developments.

How well do you remain present while leading?

3. I don’t have time to develop my leadership.
What a cop out! and at what point in the future will you be less busy?  Where is the value in your leadership, if your skills cannot stay slightly ahead of your team?

4. Leaders are born, not made.
While not everyone is capable of being a leader, or willing to make the required tradeoffs, leadership is an “observable, learnable set of practices,” according to “The Leadership Challenge,” by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner.

“The belief that leadership can’t be learned is a powerful deterrent to leadership development,” they write.

How do you identify your weaknesses and learn to develop your own leadership?

5. My people tell me the truth about what’s going on in the organization.
Really? or do they just tell you what you want to hear?

Given the nature of power and authority, it is naïve to believe your people will bring you the truth easily, consistently, and without bias, unless you help them by actively seeking this kind of communication without punishing them for the content.

How do you openly encourage others to bring you bad news?

6. As a leader, I must always be "online"
While it is true that leaders are physically scrutinized more than non-leaders, it is a myth that a leader must actively leader at all times.

When a leader feels obliged to constantly “perform,” there is little room left for them to be 'themselves.' When authenticity and reflection are lost, decisions become reactive and mistakes become more frequent.

Sometimes the most appropriate approach is to turn your leadership button down or “off.” Only then can others grow.

Have confidence in the ability of others. Don't expect others to step up to the challenge if your barring the way.

How does your leadership style create space for others to grow and take charge?

7. I started the company/organization/team/office; therefore, I have the right to lead it.
Being present at the start of something entitles you to say, “I was here at the beginning.” Remaining in charge over time, legitimately, requires a continued demonstration of worthiness.

Founders need to put the interests of the group above their personal interests. Sometimes this comes only with conscious effort.  Tenure means tenure, not leadership.  To avoid this myth, ask yourself, “How do I continually earn the right to lead what I started?”

8. I have to roll up my sleeves, get my hands dirty, lead by example, etc.
This is true – as long as you are engaged in the right activities. Often this myth motivates leaders to work on non-leaderships activities and to focus on problems that should rightly be left to others.

“Leading by example” must be demonstrated with leadership tasks (decisions, priorities, accountabilities, etc.)  Are you leading with your own work, or the work of others?

9. Leaders are fearless
Nonsense.  Fear is natural and necessary, and cannot be eliminated.  Consider the perspective of writer David Whyte: Fears need to be identified so that we “are not blinded when we face an unknown.”

We do not have to overcome our fears; we need to know what we are afraid of.  This requires courage, a word that originally means heart.  To be courageous, therefore, means to be heartfelt.

Whyte is correct.  Ask yourself, “What fills me wholeheartedly?”

The answer you find will be the core of your leadership – not some myth.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sanjay Pradhan: How open data is changing international aid - TED Video

One of Mr. Pradhan's major points is that making information public is not enough. It must be made available in ways which are meaningful. Then and only then can things begin to change for the better. The relatively new trend toward developing nations looking to each other for models of success rather than to the North is a significant shift in thought and practice regarding how people might be lifted out of poverty. This is an important presentation, one which needs to be heard by anyone interested in helping to make the developing world a better place to live.